We all know about apples and honey to ring in a sweet New Year, but there are other foods that are symbolic for Rosh Hashanah. Take gourds, for example. The word for gourd is similar for the Hebrew “to rip,” and it signifies that “our sentence be ripped up and may our merits be proclaimed.” Well, that’s a good enough reason for me to add some extra pumpkin to my Rosh Hashanah table! I love a pumpkin spice latte as much as the next person, but there are even better ways to use the nutritious ingredient. I love how pumpkin can easily transition from savory to sweet recipes and adds a hint of fall wherever you use it.

These pumpkin chocolate chip cookies are the perfect example. Now, they would be delicious as is, but I stuffed them with a halva-inspired tahini filling, which takes them to the next level. They are the perfect amount of sweet to nosh on for the sweetest New Year! These cookies have crispy edges and soft middles with the fun surprise filling. The nutty tahini goes surprisingly well with pumpkin, and a hint of cinnamon ties it all together.

Tahini Stuffed Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies_2
(Photo: Amy Kritzer Becker)

Tahini Stuffed Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Prep time: 20 minutes. Cook time: 15-18 minutes. Makes: 10-12 large cookies. Note: You will also need at least 1½ hours to chill the dough.


  • For the cookies:
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup chocolate chips, plus more for adding on top of cookies
  • For the filling:
  • 1 cup tahini paste, mixed well
  • 1 cup powdered sugar


  1. First, make your cookie dough. In a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer or using a stand mixer, beat the butter, white sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
  2. Place the pumpkin in a small mesh sieve and dry with a towel to remove excess moisture. Add the pumpkin and vanilla to the butter mixture and beat just until combined.
  3. Add in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt and mix just until combined. Fold in chocolate chips and refrigerate for at least an hour or up to three days.
  4. To make the filling, beat the tahini paste and powdered sugar in a medium bowl with a spoon or hand mixer until you have a thick paste. You may need a little more sugar depending on the consistency of your tahini. The mixture should be thick. Form 12 balls and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze at least 30 minutes.
  5. When everything is properly chilled, take 1 tablespoon of dough and flatten it into a round disk. Top with one of the tahini balls and top with another tablespoon disk of cookie dough. Roll together to form a round cookie. Repeat with the remaining dough.
  6. Place cookie balls on the parchment-lined baking sheet and top the cookies with a few more chocolate chips (if you like to make them extra pretty) and freeze for 20 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees with a baking rack in the middle of the oven.
  8. Place half the cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet about two inches apart and bake for 15-18 minutes until the edges start to brown. Cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet and finish cooling on a cooling rack. Repeat with the rest of the cookies. Eat! Store the leftovers at room temperature for up to five days or they freeze well for up to four months.

Amy Kritzer Becker is the founder of the modern Jewish cooking blog What Jew Wanna Eat, co-owner of the cool Jewish gifts website ModernTribe and author of the cookbook “Sweet Noshings.”